Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Cinco de Miler

Today was it! Race day!

I woke up and couldn't believe I'd actually be running a race. I've never run a "big" race before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. As a matter of fact, the other actual race I've run is the 5k my company hosted in September, which was just employees and friends/family. I think there were about 500 participants for it.

So this was definitely different than that!

Cam and I got up at about 5:45 to start getting ready, and Dan showed up at Cam's at 6:30 so we could carpool to Soldier Field together. I made some vanilla protein pancakes to fuel us up before heading out. (Side note: Those pancakes are awesome. My friend posted a picture of them on Facebook a few weeks ago and I tried them out last week. The only changes I made were to add 1/2 a mashed banana, and decreasing the egg whites to 1/4 cup. I tripled the recipe for the three of us, and we had them with syrup.)

I don't have any pictures of the race site because we left everything in the car, but I did snap these right as we pulled in to the parking lot:

Dan whipped his shirt off right before this photo. Don't quite know why...
We were out of the car by 8:00 and spent our pre-race time wandering around the starting area. There were a lot of people (about 4,300), but it wasn't super crowded. We watching some people try out the mechanical bull and went and watched the Mariachi band for a while. It was pretty cool out though (mid 50's) so we kept moving.

The race officially started with corral A at 9:00 am (after the singing of the Mexican and US national anthems) but we were in corral F, so we didn't start until almost 9:20.

The race itself wasn't too bad. I was a bit worried about how it would go because last week's 5 miles were kinda tough for both me and Cam. The first two miles had dragged...but it was a totally different feeling this week (for me, at least). I felt good and strong through all 5 miles. Perhaps it was the race crowd or the adrenaline...or both!

I think the coolest part of the race was the first quarter mile - it took us under McCormick Place through this was dark and people were dodging puddles left and right, and there were times when it was difficult to see...but it was FUN. People talking and everything echoing through the tunnel - it got me thinking that it'd be cool to run an entire race like that!

The next two miles took us south down Lake Shore Drive, and were fairly easy. We saw the Mariachi band again after Mile 1, and at 2.4 got to the half way turn-around. For about 20 seconds we ran towards the lake, and then turned north to head back up along the lake.

And we were greeted by a nice headwind for the trip back. Nice and blustery. I'd been wearing a jacket while we waited for the race to start but took it off after the first mile...right around Mile 3 I was considering putting it back on. I feel like we were lucky because it could have been way windier...but it was still chilly for those few miles back!

Cam and I planned to stick to our Run 1:Walk .1, as we've done for most of our training runs to this point, and I can honestly say we did so again today! But our mile times were consistently 20-30 seconds faster than they have a result we crushed our sub 1:00:00 goal...

We finished in 55:01.

Our splits, for anyone interested:

Hello and check out those sub 11:00 miles! Our usual pace when running is between 11:00 and 11:20 min/mile (walking included they're between 11:50 and 12:10 min/mile), so I'm super happy with these mile times. And I'm also quite happy with that (significant) negative split for Mile 5.

I have to mention - Dan finished in just under 45 minutes. He started with us (he was supposed to be 2 corrals up) and absolutely killed it, even though he's never run more than 3 miles, and didn't train for the race. Not fair? Not fair. But well done, Dan!

When the race ended, the hand-out line up after the race was hilarious. First were the medals, then the gatorade, then water...then churros (!) (ate half and gave the rest to Dan) and then we headed over for beer (didn't get one because blech), and food. I gave Cam my tamale and he gave me his chips and salsa (!), and we both enjoyed some horchata too. Then we peaced out to avoid the traffic.

Overall...very successful and FUN experience.

And I gotta was pretty cool to hear my name called as I neared the finish line. I felt very proud of myself...and totally understand why people keep running races. I think I'd really like to pick a half marathon event to run. I still want to do the Blerch, but I want to go to a race and get those good-race vibes too. I mean, I've run 5 miles before today, but today's felt better than all the other days.

And, just so I don't leave anyone we are back at the car, medals in hand, ready to head home:

Check out that sombrero medal!!!!! It doubles as bottle opener too!
I gotta say, I'm proud of all of us, and I can't wait for the next race!

I hope you all have a great rest of your weekend! Peace out!


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